August 6, 2010
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Performance Tax Update

WASHINGTON, DC -The NAB Radio Board met today in Washington for an educational update on the status of ongoing discussions between broadcast industry representatives and representatives of musicFirst. In order to ensure accuracy in reports of the ongoing discussions, NAB is providing a one-page fact sheet below.

In addition, the following statement can be attributed to NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton:

"The NAB Radio Board had a full and productive exchange of ideas today on the status of discussions with musicFirst representatives. The talks are part of an ongoing dialogue with the Board and NAB membership on possible alternatives to pending legislation that would be devastating to the future of free and local radio. No votes were taken at today's Board meeting. The Board reiterated its strong opposition to the pending bill in Congress, while agreeing that it is appropriate for NAB representatives to continue discussions with musicFirst. Interested parties will be updated quickly if and when new developments emerge."

PROPOSED Terms Under Consideration in Performance Tax Discussion

In 2009, Rep. John Conyers (MI-14) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT) introduced the Performance Rights Act (PRA) in the House and Senate, respectively. The legislation was voted out of the respective Judiciary Committees and has the support of certain members of congressional leadership.

Broadcasters' counter resolution - the Local Radio Freedom Act - garnered significant support, which has helped prevent further movement on PRA.

At the direction of House and Senate leaders in late 2009, NAB met with MusicFirst - representing artists, labels and unions. To date discussions have yielded the following potential terms. These terms have NOT BEEN AGREED TO, but are under discussion by the industry.

They include:

The tiered rate of 1% or less for all net revenue would be as follows:

It is important to note that stations with incidental music use - news, talk and sports radio - would not pay for music. Additionally, religious services - not religious music - would be exempt from music fees.

The above referenced rates would be permanently fixed by statute and can only be changed by act of Congress or joint agreement between both parties.

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at